By Shanshan Zhang
What I have learned
After reading Chapter 2 in Foundations for Multilingualism in Education and Chapter 2 in Myths and Realities, I have learned that how contact between speakers of different languages has developed historically. It also presents the two arguments .One is supporting the maintaining the linguistic diversity and the other one is encouraging a monolingual norm. The causes of the bilingualism or multilingualism are two ways. One is that some people want to learn more languages in order to survive in the society. The others are natural outcomes living in the multilingual environment. Migration is one of the main contributing factors to linguistic and cultural diversity around the world. And the double standard of valuing multilingual competence for one group while devaluing similar abilities in other groups emerges around the world. From the chapter, we can see that there are many benefits for being bilingual or multilingual.
What I can use in my teaching
Effective learning involves engaging prior understating and background knowledge and integrating factual knowledge with conceptual frameworks by encouraging deep understanding. It is important for students to master their native language. This allows students to build bridges of what they know from their native language and use their background knowledge while learning English. Why some ELL students succeed and some struggle? It is because that the students that have had a lot of previous schooling in their native language can transfer the knowledge and skills to English. The students that do not have a lot of background knowledge or schooling in their native language tend to struggle and take longer to learn English. So I will not devalue any multilingualism or bilingualism in my class. Encourage those students what they have learned in their culture or families to share with the other students. At